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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21264013


SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits varying degrees of protective immunity conferred by neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here we report the persistence of nAb responses over 12 months after infection despite its decreasing trend noticed from 6 months. The study included sera from 358 individuals who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 between January and May 2020. Samples were collected at 6 and 12 months after onset. The titers of IgG to the viral nucleocapsid protein (NP) and receptor-binding domain of the spike protein (RBD) were measured by CLEIA. The nAb titer was determined using lentivirus-based pseudovirus or authentic virus. Antibody titers of NP-IgG, RBD-IgG, and nAbs were higher in severe and moderate cases than in mild cases at 12 months after onset. While the nAb levels were likely to confer adequate protection against wild-type viral infection, the neutralization activity to recently circulating variants in some of the mild cases ([~]30%) was undermined, implying the susceptibility of reinfection to the variants of concerns (VOCs). COVID-19 convalescent individuals have robust humoral immunity even at 12 months after infection albeit that the medical history and background of patients could affect the function and dynamics of antibody response to the VOCs.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21263927


BackgroundLevels of 50% neutralizing titer (NT50) reflect a vaccine-induced humoral immunity after the vaccination against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Measurements of NT50 are difficult to implement in large quantities. A high-throughput laboratory test is expected for determining the level of herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2. MethodsWe analyzed samples from 168 Japanese healthcare workers who had completed two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine. We analyzed immunoglobulin G (IgG) index values against spike protein (SP) using automated chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay system AIA-CL and analyzed the background factors affecting antibody titer. SP IgG index was compared with 50% neutralization titers. ResultsThe median SP IgG index values of the subjects (mean age = 43 years; 75% female) were 0.1, 1.35, 60.80, and 97.35 before and at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after the first dose, respectively. At 4 and 6 weeks after the first dose, SP IgG titers were found to have positive correlation with NT50 titer (r=0.7535 in 4 weeks; r=0.4376 in 6 weeks). Proportions of the SP IgG index values against the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants compared with the original strain were 2.029, 0.544, 1.017, and 0.6096 respectively. Older age was associated with lower SP IgG titer index 6 weeks after the first dose. ConclusionsSP IgG index values were raised at 3 weeks after two doses of BNT162b2 vaccination and have positive correlation with NT50. SP IgG index values were lower in the older individuals and against Beta and Delta strain.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21256788


The uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of different SARS-CoV-2 variants across the globe. The ongoing global vaccination strategy to curtail the COVID-19 juggernaut, is threatened by the rapidly spreading Variants of Concern (VOC) and other regional mutants, which are less responsive to neutralization by infection or vaccine derived antibodies. We have previously developed the hiVNT system which detects SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in sera in less than three hours. In this study, we modify the hiVNT for rapid qualitative screening of neutralizing antibodies (nAb) to multiple variants of concern (VOC) of SARS-CoV-2, and assess the neutralizing efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine on seven epidemiologically relevant SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here we show that the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine can activate humoral immunity against the major SARS-CoV-2 mutants that are currently in circulation. Albeit a small sample size, we observed that one dose of vaccine was sufficient to elicit a protective humoral response in previously infected people. Using a panel of seven SARS-CoV-2 variants and a single prototype virus, our modified hiVNT would be useful for large-scale community wide testing to detect protective immunity that may confer vaccine/immune passport in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.